Shipping tips and mailing dates for the holiday season

Canada Post offers tips and times for mail Christmas cards and packages

Whether your loved ones are across the city or the world, Canada Post will be tackling the busiest season of the year, processing almost 1 billion pieces of mail by the time Christmas rolls in.

As Canadians prepare to ship their gifts this season, Canada Post provides its list of holiday mailing tips:

• Good packing prevents delays and damage, so use the right size box and centre your item.

• Wrap fragile items – newspaper, bubble wrap or foam will protect them on their journey.

• Wrap your parcel in plain paper.

• Don’t use string or twine – it can get caught in the processing machines.

• Make sure the address is written clearly and on the largest side of your parcel.

• Mark your calendar.

To get your shipments to their destination before the big day, keep these deadlines in mind:

In Canada: for cards, send locally by Dec. 17, within province by Dec. 18, out of province by Dec. 19. Send parcels by Dec. 10.

Mailing to the United States: send letters and cards by Dec. 14 and parcels by Dec. 10.

International shipping: deadlines vary depending on the region. In general, allow three weeks for cards – longer for some areas. Allow four weeks for parcels.

If you miss a deadline, don’t panic. Canada Post offers premium services with shorter delivery times worldwide.